Appeal Of Life Sentence Dismissed

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the appeal of a 48-year-old man sentenced to life in prison as a teenager for kidnapping a Blair doughnut shop clerk in 1983.

Brian Smith was 16 when he and a teenage friend robbed the shop and kidnapped 21-year-old clerk Mary Jo Hovendick. Police say the teens raped the woman, tied her up in a car and pushed it into the Missouri River. Hovendick's body was found months later.

Smith pleaded guilty to burglary and kidnapping and was sentenced to life.

He recently appealed based on the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared life sentences for juveniles in non-homicide cases unconstitutional. But the high court said Smith should have filed a writ of habeas corpus claiming unlawful imprisonment.

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